Could you do it?

Most folks don't ever try it. They say they need a lot more time on their hands. But if you were going to try to do it, now would be a great time to start.

I'm talking about a pledge Mark Zuckerberg made last year.

Thanks to the billions of dollars that recently landed on his lap, the Facebook founder can afford to eat pretty much anything on the planet. But he took a different route. He made a pledge to eat nothing but meat that he harvested himself. He called it a personal challenge to be thankful for everything he eats. It brings him closer to the animals that sacrificed their lives.

I like it. It makes sense. After all, it was only a few generations ago when boasting of such a goal would be preposterous. Killing what you ate was everyday life. It was expected.

But times have changed. These days autonomous survival makes headlines. It's become a hobby of the super-rich.

The idea of relying on Mother Nature has fallen to our subconscious in modern times. Sure, the natural world plays an important role in our lives. The world consumes more critters today than it ever has. But we never bother to think about it.

Should we? Should we follow in Zuckerberg's footsteps? I say we absolutely should do it. But we need to take it a step further.

The young billionaire cheated. He cut some pretty big corners. It turns out when he said he wouldn't eat any meat he didn't kill, he meant it very literally. He only killed the animal. Somebody else brought it to him. Somebody else butchered it. And I'm sure somebody else cooked it.


Zuckerberg's role, if we stop to think about it, wasn't intimate. It was morbid. It was sick. To prove my point, ask a hunter what he enjoys most about his sport. I'll bet you a steak dinner he doesn't say the part where the animal dies.

For most sportsmen, that's a bittersweet ordeal. And it certainly is not what gives us all a sense of unified pride. What does it for us, is the hunt. We thrive on the one-on-one battle with nature -- the cold weather, our prey's incredible natural instincts, the solitude, the preparation.

If deer hunting were as simple as having a buddy hold a deer while you "harvest" it, an entire industry would be out of business. True hunters would abandon the sport.

Zuckerberg got close. But he ended up missing his mark by a country mile.

So my challenge to all the folks that think Zuckerberg got it wrong is this. Take it a step further. Go hunting. Harvest an animal and do everything it takes to get it to your dinner plate.

Could you do it?

I can. And I do.

-- Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@york